With school beginning there is often a mix of happiness, fear and questions. How will my children do in school? Will my children have good teachers? Will they have difficulties learning? Will they make friends and get along with other children? Will they be bullied or bully others? How can I make sure that they are learning and happy in school? Children spend most of their waking hours at school and with other adults and children.
According to Barth (1980) in Run School Run, it is important for parents to keep in mind that learning is a cooperative experience between the parent, child and teacher. Learning is a continuous process that begins at home, extends into the school and returns to the home and community for further reinforcement and learning. Home study with parent support is an important component to the education of children. Parents should help children set reasonable goals and then give the child time, opportunity and a place to study. The following are some ways parents can help their children at home to make sure they are ready for school and have a safe and productive school year.
- Give your child opportunities to learn how to follow directions.
- Help your child develop listening skills including active listening.
- Engage your child in conversation and discussion on various topics to develop critical and higher level thinking skills.
- Expose your child to current events through newspapers, magazines, computer and technology news alerts, as well as TV and radio news programs.
- Expose and encourage your child in science and technology.
- Help your child prepare and practice oral reports.
- Help your child in developing proofreading skills in written projects.
- Help your child practice math and arithmetic skills.
- Take your child to the library.
When presenting these ideas to parents some parents confess that they cannot help their children because they have difficulties with reading, writing, technology and math skills. If this is the case, parents should take advantage of free programs at the Free Library in your area. Many schools and school districts have free programs for parents. In addition, many universities, colleges and community colleges have low cost programs for community members to take courses and improve skills. When your children see you reading, writing, watching and listening to news and worthwhile programming they will want to do the same. It is never too early to start working with your children. When you as a parent take an active participatory role in your children’s lives there is no time for bullying or failure, just happy parents and successful children.